Recorded in many spelling forms including Cuff, Cuffe, and diminutives Cuffey, Cuffin, Cufflin, and Cufling, this surname is both English and Irish. It has a number of possible origins. The first is that it was a metonymic occupational name for a maker or seller of gloves. The derivation being from the Middle English word "cuffe", meaning glove. Secondly it could be Irish and a form either of the Gaelic "MacDhuibh", translating as "son of the black one", from "dubh", dark, a nickname for a swarthy man or a man of dark temperament, or similarly from "O'Doirin", a diminutive of "dorn", meaning cuff. Lastly the surname may derive from the Cornish pre 10th century word "cuf", meaning a dear or kind person. In Ireland, the surname is first recorded in 1589, when Hugh Cuffe, obtained 12,000 acres of Desmond land at only 1d. per acre. Other examples of the early surname recordings taken from surviving church registers of the period include: the christening of Alice, the daughter of Adam Cuff, on November 20th 1592, at St. Augustine's church, Watling Street, city of London, that of Jone Cuffyn, a witness at St Johns Hackney, on July 8th 1606, and John Cuffling, the son of Thomas Cuffling, christened at St Ann's Soho, Westminster, on July 13th 1783. On of the earliest recorded spellings is that of Adam Cuff. This was dated June 9th 1590, when he married Alice Porter, at St. Dunstan's in the East, Stepney. This was during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1st of England, 1558 - 1603. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop", often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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